Saturday, December 11, 2010

Form, Function

Even FSJobs said it once, "Google can't make a decent UI for sh*t". The man was right. It's nice to see a definitive turn in the right direction Google. Keep it up. 

Android devices running 1.6+ will see the update rolling out within weeks. You can grab the apk from a few sites already though. DM me @anthony_lara if you need the file. 

Thursday, November 25, 2010


When Jobs first introduced the iPad I was shocked. I was more than shocked. I thought that the simliarities between it and other iOS devices were just too close and would fail miserably.

 How wrong I was.

As time passed I saw countless other companies mimicking, or at least trying to, Apple and their simple elegant product. Huawei, Samsung, Cruze, and countless others have tried their hand at bringing a product that delivers and they're just not doing it. Consumers and even some techies say "Oh, well Android is technically superior" and "I like having a variety of device form factors". You know what? Then buy one and pretend like you enjoy it.

It's been a truly enjoyable seven months with a very compelling device. iPad found more than a niche in my lifestyle, and was hard to permanently put down. But as is the way of Apple's yearly cycle of product. The holiday season is going to rush by and just beyond the corner is CES, Mobile World Congress, and finally the successor to a magical product.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

"Flash Memory? We Love Flash Memory" - 

    Jobs wasn't kidding with his answer on flash during this week's earning's call.
    Cupertino came out swinging with application improvements and refreshes to its line of MacBook Air. The new models both utilize flash technology for a faster experience that makes room for less hardware space. The 11" has the standard 5 hour life, while the 13" boasts a 7" hour life. Both have an amazing 30 day standby time. You can check out some hands on pictures here.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Netgear Roku Player

Just the other day I picked up a Roku XD S from my local Best Buy. With the living room being a new front in platform wars it was a hard decision on which to take home. My second choice easily would have been the new Apple TV. Having been able to use and feel Apple TV i was not as in awe anymore, i.e., the honeymoon was over. Roku boasted an endless lineup of channels that could be fed through the device and so I caved.

Setup was a breeze with just an ethernet and hdmi cable needed (Roku does have 802.11 b/g/n however, I just wanted to experience peak performance). At boot up Roku had me work with the remote in one hand and my computer the other. It was one of the most inept experiences ever. I then was presented with two boxes. Settings and Channel store. Roku ships with no content (read none) at start up. I was floored. The cheap UI didn't help either. After a few minutes of scrolling through the channel store I got the basics (Netflix, Pandora, Facebook Photos, Break) and began a new journey.

Upon initial launch of each application you need to login to the corresponding desktop webpage and enter a given code seen on your tv. Once entered your content reaches the tv and the fun starts.

Roku delivered content to my couch potato enjoyment like TWiG, Break classics, and other great internet only content in a fun, simple way. Another good point is that Netflix ran noticeably stronger and clearer in 720p. Faster movie load time and all. My one complaint so far is a silly one. Roku has no on/off switch or button. The device stays on 24/7. Odd? Yes. Potentially expensive? No, as it only uses 5 watts of energy. 

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Amazon Kindle

I was able to purchase a Kindle 3G last week and have been enjoying it ever since. Total came to a cool $200 for allowing me to connect anywhere. The first attribute that sparked my interest in Kindle was the $139 pricetag. I couldn't pass that up for a beautiful dedicated e-reader. I own a 16geebee wifi iPad and have learned the hard way that when wifi is unavailable, I generally have a $500 paperweight. 

On my iPad I have a collection of 15 or so books and have completed one solely using the device. It was a great experience and well worth the low price of free for the iBooks application. However, having bad eyesight is a mere understatement and I've recently been lusting over the crisp, clean look of e-ink. I caved, picked it up at my local Best Buy and loaded my Amazon collection. 

Since day one my experience has been nothing less than a reading extravaganza, some may even call it a Festivus miracle. All in all, if you're a bookie and have a hundred bucks to spend, grab one. 

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Samsung Vibrant

I go through new phones about every 60 days or so, but I think I may stick with this guy for a while. The following are my only complaints. 

1) No camera flash
2) No dedicated camera button
3) Poor pixel density
4) Beautiful screen, but hurts my eyes over time
5) Very lightweight

On the flip side, what I love about it

A) TouchWiz, it gets downplayed too much, and is a great medium between android and joe schmoe consumer
B) Extremely smooth and fast performance without having to mod or overclock
C) Rich colors
D) Great battery life
E) Chrome finish around the device

Anyone agree with any of these? If so I'd love to see your opinion.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Move Forward, Back Up

In today's mobile realm I see countless people making the switch from their old RAZR or Startac to the latest "Droid phone" and other various smartphones. While this change is a great move for most people I always advise to keep your mobile content in a safe place. With so many of today's phones not being able to withstand a beating that older phones once did I see more phone breaking down with various hardware/software issues. To keep from losing what's most important to you back up your data. It only takes minutes and saves you the frustration of asking your friends for their digits. This post is meant to document and show some of the most popular and effective tools do backing up.

Lookout Mobile Security
Lookout is a powerful backup and restore tool that is compatible with Blackberry, Android, and Windows Mobile devices. One of the greatest selling points of Lookout is how easy it is to go from sign up, to back up. A simple on-device registration will allow you to create your account and start backing up your content within seconds. Lookout gives you the option to backup not only contacts, but also photos taken on your mobile. Choosing this option initially take some time to upload to the cloud but is a great way to keep your memories safe. As a contact and photo backup tool, Lookout is great.
Beyond standard backup it will also keep tabs on where your device is using gps. This, like photo backup, is optional and requires gps to constantly run in the background (obviously). Two great pieces to this. One, this is a great way to find your device if ever it grows legs and walks away from your side. Just hop onto their site and locate your device to less than 100 meters. Awesome. Two, from your browse you can make your  device "scream". This is a great way to find your phone if you know you're near it, but can't locate it.

Pros: Lightweight in the background of your phone, free, works on popular platforms, ability to locate your device, no ads, easy to start
Cons: Does not backup applications

Formerly Dashwire, M:IQ is a great little app that does all the magic of backing up and restoring that you'd expect. M:IQ serves up to the usual Android, Blackberry, Symbian, and WinMo. Sign up is fairly regular, not as easy as Lookout, and backup is a cinch. Best Buy Mobile seems to have purchased Dashwire and now the browser dashboard is filled with suggestions for product to pair with your mobile. Example: scattered through you might see a bluetooth device and it's price which ultimately leads you to the Best Buy website. Not necessarily a bad thing as it's a great way to find a deal without looking for one, but also not a good thing at the same time. M:IQ will also allow you to receive and send texts right from the browser! This is such a great way to keep in touch while in class without getting spanked by the professor... *echm* anyways. That's a nice novelty built in to the app dashboard. Other than contacts and photos this little guy will also backup/restore you call logs and details. Very useful for some, not for every one. Best Buy Mobile's M:IQ is feature rich and a treasure chest to play with on the browser.

Pros: Feature-rich in the browser, true content backup
Cons: A bit heavy in the background

Google Sync
All hail to our Google overlords, eh? All kidding aside they offer a superb, yet simply contact backup solution. Google Sync plays well with Blackberry, Windows, Symbian, SyncML, and...iPhone. :) All that's needed is a gmail account, the application, and you're good to go. In case you were wondering it does, of course, support Android since it's fairly safe to say it's caked into the OS.